ENFIELD, Conn., Oct. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire departments respond to roughly 370,000 home structure fires per year. The majority of home fires start inside the home, yet, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. In an effort to raise awareness for preventing home fires, LEGO® CITY and the NFPA announced a partnership today aimed at encouraging families to take measures to both prevent and plan for fire emergency.
"Education is a valuable fire prevention tool and we're always looking for new ways to engage families about fire safety," said NFPA spokesperson and active firefighter, Joe Molis. "We know that role play is a key preparation tactic for children and adults alike, and so we are excited that we can leverage the iconic LEGO CITY play theme with its fire trucks and firefighters to help bring life-saving tips to life in a fun way."
Through the partnership, both parent- and child-oriented fire prevention tips have been developed and are being distributed nationally in several ways. Parents can begin a family conversation about fire safety today by downloading tips from www.BuildTogether.com and can continue the conversation by participating in various events across the country this weekend:
- Boston Fire Museum: a large-scale community building event on Saturday, October 5 kicks off Fire Prevention Week by bringing the local community together at the Boston Fire Museum to learn prevention tips from the Boston Fire Department and the NFPA. Families can also help a LEGO Master Builder assemble a larger-than-life Fire Department shield from LEGO bricks and see other larger-than-life fire-themed LEGO CITY models. Museum hours and location can be found here.
- Home Depot: families who participate in the monthly Kids Workshop on Saturday, October 5 will receive NFPA and LEGO CITY fire prevention tips and a small, complimentary LEGO CITY building set, while supplies last. Workshop information and registration is available here.
- Pottery Barn Kids: families who visit their local Pottery Barn Kids store on Sunday, October 6 will receive NFPA and LEGO CITY fire prevention tips and a free LEGO CITY mini firehouse model to build and add to their LEGO CITY collection. Space is limited and RSVP is required. Event information can be found here.
- Local firehouse: Firehouses across the country also have access to NFPA and LEGO CITY materials, so families can continue building their safety plan and learn more about local community programs by contacting their local stations.
Sample tips that the NFPA and LEGO CITY are offering include:
- Build the Foundation – Since fire safety can be a serious topic, help your child feel more comfortable by working with them to construct your home out of a familiar medium such as LEGO bricks – addressing fire safety issues as you go. Point out that they should build and identify two ways out of each room, and that all doors and windows should open easily with a clear path for safe exit.
- Find a Safe Place – Every fire evacuation plan should include a safe place to meet, like a tree, lamppost or neighbor's porch, so your whole family can respond quickly to smoke alarms or other warning signs. Help children remember where that spot is by building it on their plan.
- Practice You Fire Safety Plan – Act out your fire safety plan at least twice a year. This helps remind your child about the importance of things like keeping all exits clear of obstacles and helps to build confidence if they are ever faced with an emergency.
- Be a Good Fire Chief – Being a good fire safety role model is as simple as practicing daily safety measures in front of your children. Things like ensuring there is an adult in the kitchen while food is cooking, storing matches and lighters out of the reach of children are a good start.
- Make Home Inspections Fun – Visit Sparky.org and print out the "Sparky's Home Safety Checklist" under ACTIVITIES. Walk through your home with kids, marking off the checklist. Involving the whole family in this regular activity ensures that everyone is prepared and on board with your fire safety procedures.
"Preparing for and actively preventing fire emergencies should be a family affair where everyone knows the game plan," said Michael McNally, brand relations director for LEGO Systems, Inc. "Finding ways to introduce potentially scary topics to children can sometimes be difficult, which is why we're thrilled to partner with the NFPA to show families how creative building and role play can be a great way to engage and educate children to think about fire prevention."
An evergreen classic, LEGO CITY allows young builders to build and role play with the everyday heroes they know and love. Fire, Police, Cargo Airport, Transportation and Coast Guard themes offer models and minifigures with which builders can assemble adventures and role play the lives of everyday heroes.
About Fire Prevention Week
NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week since 1922. According to the National Archives and Records Administration's Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation proclaiming a national observance during that week every year since 1925. Visit www.firepreventionweek.org for more safety information.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.
LEGO, its logo, the brick and knob configuration and the minifigure are trademarks of The LEGO Group. ©2013 The LEGO Group.
Leah Barash for LEGO Systems
SOURCE The LEGO Group